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baked turkey on platter with lemon and sage leaves around it featured image

Herb Butter Turkey Recipe

Herb Butter Turkey Recipe- with just a handful of ingredients you will have a delicious, moist, and flavorful turkey! Perfectly cooked and extra tasty!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 85
Calories 109kcal
Author Lisa


Herb butter

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3 tbs garlic minced
  • 1 ½ tbs rosemary
  • 1 ½ tbs thyme
  • ½ teaspoon sage
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


  • 1 Turkey 12-20 lbs*
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs rosemary
  • 2 tbs thyme
  • 2 tbs sage
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper

Roasting Pan Veggies

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 celery ribs chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped


Herb Butter

  • In a medium sized bowl combine softened butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Set aside. (1 cup butter, 3 tbs minced garlic, 1 ½ tbs rosemary, 1 ½ tbs thyme, ½ teaspoon sage, 1 ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper)
    herb butter mixed


  • Allow turkey to come to room temperature for an hour before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F
  • Combine the rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper in a medium size bowl.
    herb mixture before going into the cavity of the turkey
  • Peel and cut your onion into quarters. Quarter your lemon as well.
    adding onion to the turkey
  • Remove turkey from packaging. Remove the neck and giblets, which if they are included with your turkey, will be located in the body cavity and stuffed in the next cavity. Sometimes skin will be covering the neck cavity and you just need to pull that out and the giblets will be in there.
    removing the next from the turkey
  • Pat the outside of the turkey dry and remove the trussing around the legs (usually a bit of plastic).
    patting the turkey dry
  • Place all the seasoning mixture inside the turkey cavity, then place your quartered onion and lemon inside the cavity as well. I like to just scoop up handfuls of the mixture and then stick my hand into the cavity and spread the mixture around.
    putting herb mixture in turkey cavity
  • Gently separate the skin from the breast by lifting up on the skin and then pushing your hand in between the skin and muscle.
    separating the skin from the breast of the turkey
  • Rub about ⅓ of the herb butter under the skin.
    rubbing butter under the skin of turkey
  • Rub the remaining butter over the outside of the turkey. Making sure to get the drumsticks and wings.
    rubbing butter over turkey


  • Coarsely chop your onion, celery, and carrots and place them in your roasting pan.
    roasting pan with rack and carrots, celery, and onion
  • Place your turkey on top of the veggies OR on top of a roasting rack that is placed over the veggies. Tuck the wings under the body if you can (to prevent burning).
    turkey covered in butter on roasting pan before baking
  • Bake in preheated oven until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. You will want to cook the turkey for 15 minutes per pound of weight. Check the turkey frequently once it’s ¾ done baking. If the top is browning too much, cover it with aluminum foil. Stick the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, making sure you don’t hit any bone or go through to the cavity.
    baked turkey on roasting pan
  • Once the temperature reaches 160°F remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. It will continue to rise in temperature until it reaches 165°F, at which point it is safe to consume. Allow turkey to rest at least 30 minutes.
  • Carve and enjoy!
    cut turkey on platter with lemons



Tips and Tricks
  • Rough Cooking Temperatures: 8lb turkey will need at least 2 hrs to bake, a 12bl turkey at least 3 hours, and a 16lb turkey 4 hours.
  • Use turkey drippings to make my easy gravy or peppered gravy (just use in place or in addition to broth). 
  • Need a thermometer? Here is the one I love to use.
  • Nutrition info and serving size is based off a 16 lb turkey at 3 oz per serving


Serving: 3oz | Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 598IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg